Youngest prepared for school

2016-12-13 06:01
 Over 50 learners recently graduated Grade R at the Ocean View Care Centre.

Over 50 learners recently graduated Grade R at the Ocean View Care Centre.

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The platform has been created for 55 Grade R learners to succeed at school, after they recently graduated from the Ocean View Care Centre.

The centre offers Grade R classes to children from “intensely disadvantaged” local families who are not able to afford crèche fees, explains co-founder Marti Weddepohl.

“In a previously disadvantaged community, these children represent the most disadvantaged and would have been without an opportunity to prepare for Grade 1. This is the time the foundation is laid for the rest of their lives.”

Many of the learners face developmental and nutrition challenges, she adds.

The crèche provides meals for the learners and an occupational therapist helps learners with developmental delays three times a week.

“A facility like this is an opportunity for children to prepare for school, catch up any delays and develop a sense of achievement,” Weddepohl says.

This is highlighted through a prize-giving ceremony in which every learner receives a prize. Children showing exceptional talents are also rewarded. “It shows you that there are talented children in this socio-economic bracket,” she adds.

However, running the crèche is not without its challenges, Weddepohl says.

The centre does not have running water or toilet facilities, and uses those of the neighbouring community hall.

“Everything from our food to our educational toys is donated,” Weddepohl says.

And the concern remains that children may still be slipping through the cracks.

“Our intake is roughly 10% of the entire Grade 1 intake,” she says. “This demographic is not catered for across the metro. And going into school unprepared could be one of the reasons so many children drop out.”

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